Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shared Mailboxes and Sent Items Saved Location


This has been a big design issue with Outlook. Following are the issues.

  • When you have multiple mailboxes and send from a secondary mailbox, the sent item gets saved in the default mailbox of Outlook profile.
  • If the mailbox is shared between multiple people, it is hard to keep track of sent communication by that one mailbox.

To fix this issue two things need to be done.

1. Apply the hotfix below

2. Apply the following registry settings.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

MSI Manager–Redeploy Software Assigned by GPO

MSI Manager is a simple and great tool that allows you to reinstall a software assigned by group policy. This is very useful when applications were not installed correctly due to timeout or some other issue. If the install gets interrupted in the middle it will not try to reinstall the software again.

To force a reinstall one can manually do the following

in the registry editor navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy\AppMgmt.  There will be a key for each software that has been assigned.  To force a reinstall, simply delete the associated key and then run gpupdate/force on the target computer.

To achieve this quicker user MSI Manager – click her to download and read more details

Monday, December 13, 2010

Microsoft Certification Pack–Up to 20% Discount

Click the poster below to request your Certification Pack.

Click to request exam packs

There are five Career Certification Exam pack options for you to choose from, each serves different certification needs and with different discounts:

• The 2 Exam Pack (Get 15% off + a Second Shot on Every Exam)
• The 3 Exam Pack (Get 15% off + a Second Shot on Every Exam)
• The 4 Exam Pack (Get 20% off + a Second Shot on Every Exam)
• The 5 Exam Pack (Get 20% off + a Second Shot on Every Exam)
• Single Exam with Second Shot for an additional 15% (for total $143.75 USD in the United States)

The Exam Packs are not restricted to just a certification path. You can use them for any Microsoft certification exam.

Email me to get your certification pack

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Adding or Deleting Company Holidays to/from All Users’ Calendars–Exchange 2007

I was recently asked to figure out a silent method of adding our organization’s holiday’s to all users calendars. Following was my approach.
First I thought of looking for a client side solution. Everyone in our organization uses Outlook 2007 and outlook uses a file name outlook.hol for holiday configuration. Following is the format of file, it can be created using a simple text editor and can be distributed by an email or commandline (outlook.exe /hol holidayfilename)
[Country or Description] ###
Event or holiday description, yyyy/mm/dd
Event or holiday description, yyyy/mm/dd
read for more details
Above is not very clean for a large environment, so I was not too happy with this solution and started taking a different approach.
Definitely it would be so much easier doing it with Exchange Management Shell and finally I found my answer.
Here is what's needed for a great solution
  • Exchange Management Tools and Outlook 2007 installed on a 32bit machine
  • Outlook 2007 to create a PST file
  • Export-mailbox
  • Import-mailbox
  1. First of all create all events for all holidays in a mailbox Calendar and export it to a PST file or Create a Calendar Item in a PST file with the name “Calendar” and create all events in it.
  2. On 32bit a machine where outlook 2007 is installed login with an Exchange Enterprise Admin account and open Exchange Management Shell then run the following

    $users=Get-Mailbox –ResultSize Unlimited
    Import-Mailbox $users –PSTFolderPath c:\pstfolder/pstfile.pst –IncludeFolders ‘\Calendar’
  3. Above will add all items from the PST File Calendar to all users’ calendars.
Now what happens if someone comes to you and says hey there is an event we need to delete from all users’ calendars, simple!!
Get-Mailbox –ResultSize Unlimited | Export-Mailbox –IncludeFolders ‘\Calendar’ –SubjectKeywords “Subject of the appointment” –DeleteContent
Hope this is useful!! Please comment.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cannot See Disconnected Mailbox Exchange 2007

If disabled or removed mailboxes don’t appear in the console.

Run the following cmdlet from EMS

Clean-Database -Identity SGName\DBName

Public Folder Item Count report

This can help compare public folder replicas on two different servers

Get-PublicFolder –server server1 -Recurse |Get-PublicFolderStatistics |ft Name, ItemCount, FolderPath > pfreport-sever1.txt

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Replace SSL Certificate for Cisco Wireless Controller

I followed the process below:

  • Received a .p12 pkcs#12 file from a 3rd party CA
  • Imported it to a server that had IIS installd (this was just so I could export it to a .pfx file) this can be done using OpenSSL convertor.
  • from IIS exported the certificate with all possible paths and the private key to a .pfx file
  • converted the .pfx to .pem using the following command
OpenSSL> pkcs12 -in wlcssl.pfx -out wlcssl.pem

OpenSSL can be downloaded from the following link
Version 0.9.8o is the only one that works for most WLCs – just this info would have saved hours for me.
Win32 OpenSSL v0.9.8o

more details:


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Run as Different User–Error–Service cannot be started.


Right click an app and chose run as option and provide correct credentials, following error occurs

“The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.”

To fix the above go to services, find Secondary Logon, change the startup type to manual.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Microsoft to drop Windows Live Spaces–Changing to WordPress as default blogging option

Microsoft and WordPress maker Automatic have announced that Microsoft will be ditching its Windows Live Spaces blogging technology in favor of using WordPress as the default blogging option for Windows Live. Considering the popularity of WordPress in the blogging scene…… read more from the source

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reset trust relationship of a machine to the domain

Login as local administrator

use the following command

netdom resetpwd /Server:DCName /userd:domain\administrator /passwordd:*

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Upgrade or Downgrade Aztech 600E Modem Firmware

It was not very easy to find the firmware so I am putting the URL online for anyone who needs it.

both upgrade and downgrade is easy, just follow the instructions in the package.

Outlook Calendar and Daylight Saving Time

Reoccurring appointments with wrong time

After you have made sure that all your exchange servers have applied correct time settings, clients (workstations) are in sync too and you have a few users complaining about time being incorrect in some of their reoccurring calendar appointments then considering the following may help. Outlook 2010 users may not be effected by this issue but if they are then the following link refers to a Time Zone Data Update Tool for it.

According to the following article Microsoft recommends to use Time Zone Data Update Tool for pre Outlook 2010 clients.

Here is the link to download 32bit tool for pre Outlook 2010 client

If you don't want to use the tool or if it doesn't fix the issue then manual edit of the appointment is required. This applies to reoccurring appointments.

Go to Outlook > Calendar and open the series of the reoccurring appointment which is not displaying time correctly.

Then click on reoccurrence button and here you will notice that the appointment time is displayed correctly. There are two ways to fix it.

  1. Remove reoccurrence save the appointment and apply it again
  2. Change the time zone to a different one and save the appointment then apply the correct time zone again and save the appointment.

Both of these options will generate updates and send it to all attendees, fixing the appointment time on their calendars are well.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Troubleshooting Daylight Saving Time Changes

It’s good to know a few facts before we go about troubleshooting DST changes.

By default the PDC in your domain becomes the Time Provider for the clients in a domain. So the first domain controller installed will become Stratum: 1 time provider.

If the PDC was decommissioned and role was transferred to a different DC then it would be necessary to run the following command on it to make it a Stratum: 1 time provide or a reliable time source for the domain.

w32tm /config /,0x9 /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update

Above command would make the DC or any member server you run it on a reliable time source for the workstations in a domain. Other DCs would automatically be Stratum:2 servers that means that they will get their time from PDC and will also be time source for workstations so they are client/servers.

For the DST changes to be applied correctly first make sure that all clients have all current windows updates installed by WSUS or directly from Microsoft. If there are still issues with some computers then see if following helps.

  1. Try to restart Windows Time Service

        net stop w32time && net start w32time

  1. If that doesn't fix it then consider the following:
  • Make sure that the clients are configured to get time from a the Domain

Run the following commands in the same order

         w32tm /config /syncfromflags:domhier /update

         net stop w32time && net start w32time

  • TimeZone related information is saved at three locations in registry


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Time Zones

And the Time service parameters


"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Time Zones" is often updated by Microsoft and is applied through windows updates.

"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W32Time" has the configuration for the time service that includes where the machine should get its time from, whether this computer is a time server or a client/server or just a client and much more.

"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TimeZoneInformation" when nothing works these settings do their magic when it comes to DST changes.

Problem Cases

  1. So you have already restarted the time service on a client and still it displays wrong time.
  1. Event log says that the client is getting time from the correct DC but still time is displayed wrong.
  1. You have setup the TYPE to NT5DS by running the command [w32tm /config /syncfromflags:domhier /update] which would force the clients to get the time from PDC but still it is displaying wrong time.


Find a computer that has correct DST applied - a computer that doesn't have problem

Go to the registry and export the following


And make sure to add the following entry at the end the exported reg file


This would make sure that the "Automatically adjust clock for daylight saving changes" is checked or enabled so you don't have the same issue.

The computer a txt file with the names of all computers that have problem and use the following command to apply changes (make sure to have pstools installed)

Psexec –s @txtfilewithcomputernames.txt regedit -s path\to\regfile.reg

Restart the computers

Hope it helps. Happy DST!!

Check the following for more info:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Remove Duplicate Contacts in Microsoft Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010

Here is what Microsoft suggests

But if someone has thousands of contacts then it will take care ages to to click on each duplicate and select, one might need to get a physio session to recover from those clicks. I had around 5oo duplicate entries in my contacts in Outlook because I was testing ActiveSync on an Exchange Server with my mailbox and the client I used had some default settings that duplicated all contacts.

Anyways I could recover my contact list in a minute but I thought this exercise might be helpful to someone out there.

Export your contacts to a CSV file

Import it and while importing contacts chose the following option “Do not import duplicate items


Click on next and then finish, all duplicates should be eliminated.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Office 2010 Web App on SkyDrive


Microsoft has slowly caught up with the web and have been offering great features to boost up the use of live ID or hotmail.

25GB free space in SkyDrive

and now Office 2010 Web Apps, the interface is flawless, much better than Google Docs. I have nothing against Google Docs I use it quite often but when I tried the Microsoft Office Web Apps I realized what Google Docs has been missing.

I have to say, I am impressed with this initiative of Microsoft and thank God now I can use Office on some of my Dinosaurs at home ;-)


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Add Trusted Sites in Internet Explorer – Keeping users’ existing list

I received a call from a colleague asking if we could add a few intranet sites to each users Trusted Sites list. I said “Sure” that should be easy, send the list of sites.

    Hmmm!! Easy!! Yea but not too easy.

    Because if I use a group policy for this, users wont be able to add any site to the list. Which might be a great thing from security point but in our environment its just not acceptable.

    So I had to think of a different method.  While changing the trusted zone settings manually I used Procmon.exe to record changes in registry and and found that the Trusted Zones are saved in the following location

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains

    Now I felt better because there are many ways to deploy these settings but I used Group Policy Preferences. Easy and Clean.

    1. Added the intranet sites to my Internet Options – Trusted Sites

    2. Opened the existing GPO for Internet Explorer

    3. Navigated to User Configuration –> Preferences –> Windows Settings –> Registry

    4. Right Click Registry and chose New –> Registry Wizard

    5. Select Local Computer –> Next and Just Chose the Domain or the sites that you added to the Registry location mentioned above.

    6. Make sure to tick/check all the values

    That’s it! It will now apply to all users while they have their own list of Trusted Zones.

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Microsoft TechNet Wiki Beta Launched

    TechNet has served Windows Administrators and Users for many years, this Wiki would be a great addition if Microsoft gets its act together in optimizing their search algorithms.

    Check out the TechNet Wiki page here

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Microsoft Pink Phone

    It's finally official: Microsoft Pink -- the product of Redmond's acquisition of Danger -- has just been unveiled as a pair of handsets sourced from Sharp (which made most of Danger's Sidekicks) known as the Kin One and Kin Two. The devices are being marketed as Windows Phones, and while they're ultimately based on most of the same underpinnings of Windows Phone 7, it's a distinctly and totally different experience -- the entire user interface is custom to Kin with a heavy social media slant, a custom browser (we're told it's based on the Zune's browser), and surprisingly, zero support for third-party apps. The displays are capacitive with support for multitouch (yes, you can pinch and zoom in the browser), but there's no support for in-browser Flash or Silverlight…… Read Full Story Here


    More Info:

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    Father of the PC Dr. Henry Edward Roberts Died on 1 April 2010

    Dr Henry Edward Roberts was the inventor of the Altair 8800, a machine that sparked the home computer era.

    Bill Gates and Paul G. Allen contacted Dr Roberts after seeing the machine on the front cover of a magazine and offered to write software for it.  The program was known as Altair-Basic, the foundation of Microsoft's business……

    Read for more details

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010

    The Windows Enterprise 90 Day Trial Has Been Extended

    Microsoft’s marketing and advertising strategy for Windows 7 has been well planned and executed. This is another smart move for creating  a stronger customer base.

    Read the full article here - 90 Day Trial Has Been Extended

    List of Top Free Windows Administration Tools

    This is a comprehensive list of Windows Administration Tools available for free. There are some great detailed reviews about tools, all of these review are written by Michael Pietroforte.  I like his reviews as they are informative and honest.

    Windows Administration Tools 

    Above is a precious collection of any Systems Administrator.

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    XP Mode Without Hardware Virtualization

    For those who have machines with no Hardware Virtualization support – You can use XP Mode in windows 7. Microsoft has launched an update to Windows Virtual PC that enables running XP Mode without Virtualization support.

    Read the following KB for more details.

    Download the update from from following locations.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Microsoft previews IE9

    After the success of Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft didn’t delay the next browser in line. To stay updated with Features and new capabilities of Internet Explorer 9 visit 

    You can also download the Platform preview from the above location.

    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    Enable File Content Search in Windows 7

    Search is one of the strong features of windows 7, some on us might find it not too useful because by default Windows 7 only search within the file in an Indexed location. So there is no visible option like XP to search text within a file.

    To enable File Content Search option there are two options

    Option 1 (Searches will be a little slow)

    • Go to Tools –> Folder Options or Organize –> Folder and search options
    • select “Always search file names and contents” option in Search tab.


     Option 2

    • Add the Directory or Drive to Indexed locations from Indexing Options.

    Note: If the location is already being indexed and still its not searching the content of certain file types. Use the following option to make sure its being indexed correctly.

    • Click on Start menu and type Indexing
    • Choose Indexing Options
    • Click on Advanced
    • In File Types find the Extension you are looking for and click on it.
    • In the “How should this file be indexed?” select “Index Properties and File Contents”

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Error while importing option “6.” while moving DHCP database from Windows Server 2008 to another Windows Server 2008/2003 or 2008 R2


    To move DHCP from one server (2003/2008) to another you can use the following steps

    1. At the command prompt type netsh dhcp server export C:\dhcpdata.txt all , and then press ENTER.

    Note: You must have local administrator permissions to export/import the data.

    Configure the DHCP server service on the server that is running Windows Server 2008

    1. Add DHCP Server Role
    2. Make sure to Authorize DHCP while installing the Role.

    Import the DHCP database

    1. Copy the exported DHCP database file to the local hard disk of the Windows Server 2008-based computer.
    2. At the command prompt, type netsh dhcp server import c:\dhcpdata.txt all and press ENTER

    If might receive the following error

    “Error while importing option “6.” “This option conflicts with the existing option “” An Internal Error Occurred.”

    It is because by default when you install DHCP Server Role, it puts the following entries in Server Options.

    006 DNS Server
    015 DNS Domain Name

    To fix the Error –> Just delete the above two entries from Server options and Run the Import DHCP database command again.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    Outlook 2007 crashes on Import/Export

    Lets say you are trying to export your contacts to a Tab Delimited Text file or CSV file. The process begins but outlook crashes right away leaving the following event in your event log

    Event ID: 1000
    Source: Microsoft Office 12

    Faulting application outlook.exe, version 12.0.6514.5000, stamp 4a89dc70, faulting module oladd.fae, version 12.0.6500.5000, stamp 49a6ed5f, debug? 0, fault address 0x00008c24.

    One of the reasons why it might happen is that Microsoft Exchange Management Tools for Exchange 2007 are installed on the computer and Microsoft says it not supported.

    To Fix it

    Open command prompt and type fixmapi and press enter (there will be no notification, its instant)

    Make sure Outlook is closed while you do the above, reopen Outlook and try to Export it should now work fine.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 logon delays

    Consider the following scenario:

    • You have a computer that is running windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.
    • You set a solid color as the desktop background.
    • The Desktop Window Manager Session Manager service is running.
    • You log on to the computer locally.
    In this scenario, the Welcome screen is displayed for 30 seconds during the logon process.

    So if you like a plain desktop, its not necessarily what Microsoft thought was the case.  One of the reasons why you might face the issue of delayed logons can be that you have chosen a solid color for your desktop.

    see the following link for more details and a hotfix.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    NPS Setting for SafeWord 2008 with Cisco Router

    When using Aladdin SafeWord 2008 with RADIUS authentication installed on Windows Server 2008, Network Policy Server (NPS) needs to be configured for RADIUS authentication with the router as RADIUS client. For Cisco routers the following authentication settings will work.

    Unfortunately the documentation for Aladdin SafeWord 2008 does not provide the following steps, so I decided to put it here for anyone who can benefit from it.

    After you have installed SafeWord 2008 successfully, made sure all SafeWord services have the startup type – Automatic and have activated it. Now its time to work on RADIUS Authentication, following steps describe the complete process:

    1. Open Start --> All Programs --> Aladdin --> SafeWord --> Configuration --> IAS Agent Configuration
      Under Authentication Policy click on Groups and make sure the following options are selected.ScreenShot065
    2. Steps below are for NPS settings
      * Open NPS Console, Right Click RADIUS Clients and select New RADIUS Client option
      * Provide following details based on your environment.
    3. Go to Policies --> Network Policies (Right click and choose New) and Follow the snapshots below



      Authentication methods are very important
      Click next in all the windows after this and finish at the end.
    4. Make sure that this newly created Network Policy is on the top and if you want disable all the other listed network policies by default.
    5. No need to touch the connection request policy already there.

    That's it!! NPS authentication with SafeWord 2008 should work fine now.

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    So-called GodMode in Window 7 !!! I call it AdminMode.

    I don't like the idea of calling a cool shortcut or trick “GodMode”. However as you might have guessed, I like the trick itself. I would call it “AdminMode” because that's what it is.

    In Windows 7 you can create a new folder anywhere with the following name


    You can change “AdminMode” to whatever you want to name the folder. After the folder creation is complete you will see it listed as following.


    When you double click it, you will see a list of commands which are either well hidden or require a few clicks to get to. With the help of AdminMode you get easily access all of these cool features at one place. What's even more great is that you can create a shortcut by right clicking any option and choosing create a shortcut, it will place a shortcut on your desktop.

    Enjoy Windows 7 !!!!

    Users cannot logon to the Terminal Server

    When users try to logon to the terminal server they get the following error

    Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service

    or their sessions just drops during the login process without any errors.

    In this case one of the reason could be that your terminal server is handling the memory usage correctly.
    check the event log to see if you can find event 1500 and event 1508 for each unsuccessful logon attempt.

    if yes then use the following method:

    To resolve this problem, modify the registry to increase the PoolUsageMaximum value and the PagedPoolSize value. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
    2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

    3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
    4. In the New Value #1 box, type PoolUsageMaximum, and then press ENTER.
    5. Right-click PoolUsageMaximum, and then click Modify.
    6. In the Value data box, type 60, click Decimal, and then click OK.
    7. If the PagedPoolSize registry entry exists, go to step 8. If the PagedPoolSize registry entry does not exist, create it. To do this, follow these steps:
      1. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
      2. In the New Value #1 box, type PagedPoolSize, and then press ENTER.
    8. Right-click PagedPoolSize, and then click Modify.
    9. In the Value data box, type ffffffff, and then click OK.
    10. Exit Registry Editor, and then restart the computer.


    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Roaming Quick Access Toolbar

    Office 2007 is packed with useful new features. Quick Access Toolbar is one of them, although the concept is not new but the ease with which you can add the buttons to quick access toolbar is what I would call a new feature. With Quick Access Toolbar you can have a collection of frequently used commands on the top of the ribbon, in the title bar. To add an option to the quick access toolbar just right click on any command on the Ribbon in any Microsoft office program and select the option “Add to Quick Access Toolbar”

    Of course we all know that, we also know that this toolbar is actually saved as a file in your profile at the following location

    "%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\*.qat

    all the files with .qat extension are quick access toolbars for the related application.

    When using roaming profile it becomes an issue because as you have noticed that the qat files are in Local Settings folder, which doesn’t get saved with the roaming profile. So to have all users’ Quick Access Toolbar in the roaming profile we need to do two things. First following registry DWORD needs to be created for each user.


    New DWORD –> QuickAccessToolbarRoaming
    Value –> 00000001

    Above can be achieved in many ways, easiest of them could be to use Group Policy Preferences.

    Now we  the second step is optional because it is completely for user satisfaction. For the users who have already added their favorite commands to the QAT, once the roaming is activated they will lose their settings. To prevent it you can add the following line to a logon script or just create a new batch file and have it applied as logon script for all users.

    move /Y "%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\*.qat" "%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Office\"

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Disable Send Out of Office auto-replies to External Senders in Exchange 2007

    You don’t want users in your organization to send Out of Office Auto-replies to external recipients and also you don’t want the option to appear in Outlook 2007 like shown below


    To disable/hide the option Outside My Organization in Out of Office Assistant in Outlook and in OWA use the following in Exchange Management Shell.

    Set-Mailbox <mailboxid> -ExternalOofOptions InternalOnly

    This can be changed per mailbox, if you want to be applied to all mailboxes there are many ways of approaching it. You can get mailboxes on a server and pipe it with Set-Mailbox with above settings Or the following will apply it on all mailboxes in an exchange organization.

    Get-Mailbox –ResultSize Unlimited | Set-Mailbox -ExternalOofOptions InternalOnly

    -ResultSize Unlimited is important otherwise it will change the setting for the first 1000 mailboxes.

    For more details on Out of Office Assistant refer to the link below.

    Sunday, January 3, 2010

    Send as permissions disappear – Exchange 2007

    You granted send as permissions to an account from Exchange Management Console in exchange 2007 environment and realize that after an hour later the permissions have disappeared, in fact any other explicit permissions that you granted through Active Directory have gone as well. This will also becomes an issue for organizations using BlackBerry.

    Above is by design, read this for more details.

    To fix the issue:

    Remove the account from any of the following group

    • Administrators
    • Account Operators
    • Server Operators
    • Print Operators
    • Backup Operators
    • Domain Admins
    • Schema Admins
    • Enterprise Admins
    • Cert Publishers

    If that's not an option then see the work around in the following KB Article. 

    This applies to any version of Microsoft Exchange.